Mi­nor suc­cess should stand to the Blues

Drogheda Independent - - SPORT - JOHN SAV­AGE

CIARAN Downey may be still a novice of se­nior foot­ball, but the classy play-maker has a big fu­ture in the game and he’s hop­ing Sun­day is the just the start of big things for this Blues’ team.

Quite a few of Ro­nan Phillips’ start­ing XV are fresh­faced mi­nor grad­u­ates, but it was a golden era for the New­foundwell out­fit and Downey feels the ex­pe­ri­ence and win­ning habit should stand to his young col­leagues.

‘I know a se­nior fi­nal is go­ing to be a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ball game but the mi­nor fi­nals are played be­fore the se­nior and I think it will stand to us.

‘We seem to have a good track record in fi­nals, and hope­fully on Sun­day we can keep it go­ing.’

It helps that the more ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers in the squad have been there and done that, win­ning county ti­tles in 2013 and 2008 and Downey in­sists that you can’t help but be im­pressed and in­spired by them.

‘To be play­ing the likes of Andy, Hugh and Colm Judge and Stephen Moo­nan is amaz­ing. They have real ex­pe­ri­ence, and it’s go­ing to be nice to share the field with them for a se­nior fi­nal.

‘I’m 20 years of age, but th­ese lads that have been there and done it. It’s go­ing to be mas­sive for us a group to hope­fully get over the line. We’ll have a good crack at it.’

Bring­ing the younger play­ers through was cru­cial, how­ever, and Downey is de­lighted that they have been able to make the step up so seam­lessly.

‘It’s bril­liant. I’m de­lighted to get to a fi­nal at 20 years of age, which is a mas­sive achieve­ment for my­self and the young lads down here that have shown they can make the tran­si­tion from mi­nor into se­nior..

‘It’s a young team, but we need to bring young lads through. Over the last few years we mightn’t have had as many com­ing through as we’d like.

‘But the last few mi­nor teams are step­ping up now and we’re start­ing to get into the groove of se­nior foot­ball.

‘We strug­gled a bit at the start of the year, to get lads to­gether and get a good push on. Teams seemed to get the run on us a lit­tle bit. But the Blues al­ways come good in Cham­pi­onship, and I think we’re mov­ing well now and we’re go­ing to have a good crack at this.’

Gerard McSor­ley

Ciaran Downey in ac­tion against Geraldines.

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